"If you are in search of a gripping read (or even just some exceptional prose regarding the sorts of conversations that happen in the weight room at your local YMCA), then pick this up. As both a personal reflection on the intersections of race and faith, and a unrelenting critique of U.S. empire, its impact is undeniable. Mutually Assured Destruction dazzles. In his first major book effort, Aaron Samuels gives notice to the poetry world that he is a g- force to be reckoned with. Driven by his switchblade wit, and uncanny knack for melding accessible, everyday dialogue with seamless prose and honest, gut-wrenching narratives, the poems in Mutually Assured Destruction are bound to strike a chord with anyone who has ever known the singularly joyful agony of growing up on the wrong side of ‘normal.’ It is a Bildungsroman par excellence, a direct window into the mind of a writer unafraid of poring through the darkest corners of the moments that have shaped him."
Star of HBO series Brave New Voices, featured poet at President Obama’s Evening of Poetry and Music, published author, and doctoral candidate in English at Princeton University